Warm Millet Salad w/ Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage {37 Cooks & Bilinski’s}

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It’s a new year which means 37 Cooks is back in action! Even though the past few months have been extremely busy with moving to NYC and starting my Dietetic Internship I have missed these fun recipe challenges, and I am happy that this first event is sponsored by one of my favorite brands, Bilinski’s.

If you aren’t familiar with Biliniski’s they are a family owned and operated company that specializes in chicken sausages (with no pork casings!) since 1929. Their products are made from every day ingredients, gluten-free, preservative-free, antibiotic-free, nitrate and nitrite free, all meat is raised in clean, comfortable conditions, no animal by-products in their feeds, and no hormones…but are full of flavor! These sausages are fully cooked and are also low in fat, so you need to be careful to not over cook them.

I wanted to create a healthy and hearty dish that incorporated ingredients that would compliment the flavors in the new  Kale Balsamic chicken sausage! Since moving here and not having an income I have tried to stretch my food dollar even further than before. One way I’ve found to do this is to create dishes that incorporate a lot of delicious and healthy ingredients that are filling and re-heat well…you could serve this dish to a family of four or if you are in a similar situation as myself, have leftovers for a few days (I promise it re-heats very well). Feel free to change-up the ingredients as you see fit. The Kale Balsamic Sausage and all vegetables used in my recipe were organic (I have strangely found that the organic items are cheaper than non-organic in the stores around me).

I know many of you are looking for healthier recipes to get this year started. Sometimes the word “healthy” is translated into “unsatisfying” or “bland”, but it doesn’t have to! Healthy can be (and should be) delicious, flavorful, hearty, filling, and all those other good things that you are craving. Try using a new ingredient each week to expand your horizons in the “healthy” department: try millet instead of rice one week. Using seasonal vegetables and fruits in dishes also means additional flavor.

Warm Millet Salad with Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Millet
  • 2 Cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil divided
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Package of Bilinski’s Organic Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 1 1/2 Cups Diced Organic Sweet Potato
  • 1 Cup Diced Organic Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 1 5oz Container of Organic Baby Kale
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts

Method of Preparation

  1. In a small pot bring the chicken broth to a boil.
  2. Add millet, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all water has been absorbed
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a large skillet and brown the sausage on both sides
  4. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside in a large bowl
  5. In the same large skillet, add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil
  6. Add in sweet potatoes and cook until tender or until water has evaporated
  7. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pan
  8. Add in mushrooms and cook until browned
  9. Next, add in the pine nuts, and brown lightly
  10. In a bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  11. Add 1/2 of the mixture to the pan with the sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes
  12. Once the vegetables have been coated with the olive oil and vinegar, add in the dried cranberries and kale
  13. Cook until kale has begun to wilt (about 1-2 minutes), remove from heat
  14. Once the millet has finished cooking, add it to the bowl with the sausage
  15. Add the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture to the bowl with the warm millet and sausage, toss to coat well
  16. To the same bowl add the cooked vegetables, toss to incorporate all ingredients and serve

IMG_4017Thank you to the awesome folks over at Bilinski’s for sharing this new product with all of us at 37 Cooks! This post is sponsored, however the recipe and opinions are 100% my own.

Want more information on Bilinski’s? Find them here:

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Stuffed Carnival Squash

I picked up a grapefruit sized carnival squash yesterday while at Trader Joe’s. I’ve never cooked or even had a carnival squash before but, it is a winter squash and similar shape and size to acorn squash so I figured it would be similar in texture and taste as well…and it is. I’m already crazy Thanksgiving food and knew I wanted to bake and stuff this little carnival squash (it was about the size of a very large grapefruit) so I picked up some ground turkey, dried cranberries, and a big bag of kale to go with ingredients I already had back at the Annex.

This is a really simple recipe that can be adapted to whatever your diet restriction might be – dairy free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, low sodium, etc. It is very customizable, you just have to be creative in your stuffing fillings. My stuffing was pretty simple, but so delicious. There was no added salt to this either (except what small amount is in the spice blend I used). The flavors are that of Thanksgiving and perfect to make with leftovers, or if you are just craving a little bit of Thanksgiving throughout the year.

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Stuffed Carnival Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carnival squash – cut in half and seeds removed/discarded (you can roast these as well!)
  • 1/2 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock (low sodium, or no sodium added)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup diced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons Spiceologist Greek Freak Seasoning, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cabot Cheese – Alpine Cheddar

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Place cut and cleaned squash face down in a baking dish, add about 1/4 inch of water and cover with aluminum foil
  3. Roast squash for 30-45 minutes until fork tender, remove from oven and drain water
  4. In a small pot, bring brown rice and chicken stock to a boil, and cook according to rice specifications
  5. In a saute pan, add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil, add kale and cover for five minutes until kale is tender.
  6. Drain water, and place kale on a paper towel to drain (you want to remove as much excess water that you can)
  7. In the same saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and heat pan to medium heat
  8. Add mushrooms, green onions, and 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mixture, saute until mushrooms are lightly browned and tender
  9. Add mushrooms and green onions to the kale that has been set aside
  10. In the same saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat pan to medium heat
  11. Add ground turkey and remaining 1 tablespoon of seasoning mixture
  12. Brown turkey and add in pine nuts to toast during the last few minutes of cooking
  13. Once the turkey is cooked throughout, add in the cooked brown rice, dried cranberries, kale, mushrooms, and green onions, stir to combine
  14. Remove from heat and stuff cooked squash halves (you may have a little extra filling, but you can use that for another meal or snack)
  15. Top stuffed squash halves with shredded cheese and return to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes
  16. Remove from oven, and enjoy!

 

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies with Orange Glaze

I adapted the following Bob’s Red Mill recipe – instead of raisins, I added some dried cranberries and topped them with an orange glaze.  This recipe was really quick and makes about four dozen cookies.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies
Contributed by Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods

Ingredients

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugars together until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs; beat well. In a separate bowl, blend flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and Xanthan Gum. Stir flour blend into wet ingredients. Add oats and raisins and mix well. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool one minutes then transfer to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

*Eggless Option: Mix together 2 Tb. Flaxseed Meal with 6 Tb. of water and let sit for a minute. Add to recipe as you would the eggs.